A darling of the broadcasting airwaves for over 15 years, former MTV Thailand VJ turned popular TV talk show host Vuthithorn “Woody” Milintachinda says he couldn’t imagine working in any other industry.
You originally studied International Economics at university… how did you make the leap to TV?
After graduating from Thammasart University, at first I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do so I applied for a job as a VJ at GMM Grammy and, much to my surprise, I got it. It was the smartest thing I ever did! I was given a new TV show to host and the rest, as they say, is history.
What criteria do you use to select guests for The Woody Talk Show?
There are no hard and fast criteria, but the guests do have to interest me. I have to believe they will make a good guest. So it all depends on me me me me me!
Who is your most memorable guest and why?
My most memorable guest would have to be the fortune-teller, Krit Confirm. He came on the show a couple of years ago and boy, he’s got an uncanny talent. He’s one of those people who get audiences glued to their TV screens.
You have a unique style of questioning. Who influenced you in this regard?
I have been influenced by a number of show hosts and presenters, both Thai and international. I love Ellen DeGeneres, I love Jimmy Fallon, I love Oprah Winfrey, I love Graham Norton and I love Larry King. All these people have, in a way, influence my hosting style. I also admire Thai presenters such as Panya Nirankul, Traipob Limpraphat, and Witawat, Sorayut. All of these hosts have talent and I suppose I’ve taken something from each and rolled it into my own style. I’m not confrontational but I do like to prise unusual snippets of information out of guests. I try to ask questions that the audience would want to ask. This make interviews go naturally and casually.
You have interviewed a number of the world’s top celebrities, including David Beckham, Jackie Chan, and Britney Spears. Do you ever get nervous in such illustrious company?
Of course! It is very exciting at first. However, Hollywood stars are not as arrogant as people might think. Often I don’t feel like I’m doing an interview, I feel more like I’m having a chit chat. I once interviewed actor Hugh Jackman and taught him to say “na rak-a” which means “you are so cute.” It was very funny. Another favourite interviewee was actor Will Smith. I even rapped with him during the session.
What is it like to interview Thai royalty?
It is a huge honour. I have been lucky to interview Princess Chulabhorn and Princess Soamsawali. They both were both very generous and gracious to me and the Woody team. They gave answers openly and freely and even encouraged me when I hesitated to ask certain questions. They were wonderful.
How do you balance your on-screen role with that of president of Woody World Co., Ltd?
There is no balance between my on-screen role and the role as president of my own company. I wear two hats at once. They are one and the same thing and in putting the show together I am also running the company.
If you weren’t in TV, what would you be doing?
If I weren’t in TV, I would be doing everything I could to get into TV! I can’t think of another answer… I couldn’t see myself selling T-shirts or crunching numbers or even becoming an astronaut. My life is television, period.
Favourite places to eat & drink in Bangkok?
I don’t have a favourite restaurant or a club or a pub or a bar in Bangkok that I go to all the time. But I tend to pick venues where I can just sit, relax, be myself, eat the food and feel comfortable. I like to feel as if I’m at home. I enjoy visits to Kram, the Thai restaurant on Sukhumvit 39. It is one of the city’s hidden gems. It serves good food, plays nice music and it is simple and relaxing.
Where do you go and what do you do to escape the world of celebrity?
I don’t really have a particular place to escape the world of celebrity. I mean I enjoy being who I am and what I do and you can never escape from that. But if you’re asking me where do I go to chill away from work, I’d have to say Japan. I’ve been visiting the country over the past few years and I love it. I’m discovering more of its cities as time goes by and my dream is to move there one day.